- Jamie Tomkys
Everything you need to know, Predicted XI – Manchester United vs Manchester City Preview
Manchester City will be hoping to close the gap on Arsenal in the Premier League when they head to Old Trafford to face Manchester United on Saturday 14th, January. The game kicks off at 12:30 GMT and will be broadcast on BT Sport 1 in the United Kingdom.
Pep Guardiola opted to rest several key players for the trip to St Mary’s in the Carabao Cup. City were extremely poor and deserved their 2-0 loss to Southampton. This may prompt Guardiola to consider who he trusts most in this important fixture.
Ederson should return in goal for Stefan Ortega, who was caught off his line for Southampton’s second goal.
Who plays at full-back may be a more difficult decision for Guardiola after Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo had poor games in midweek. The Catalan may turn to 18-year-old right-back Rico Lewis to help offer control by tucking into midfield. Nathan Ake could return at left-back for Cancelo.
John Stones has been ruled out of Saturday’s clash through injury. However, in Friday’s press conference, Guardiola stated that everyone else was fit. This could suggest a return for Ruben Dias, but the manager may feel this test comes too soon for him. Manuel Akanji and Aymeric Laporte are likely to be the chosen pairing, especially if Ake is selected at left-back.
Rodri is in line to return for Kalvin Phillips, with Kevin De Bruyne certain to start in midfield. There is likely only room for one of Ilkay Gundogan or Bernardo Silva, and Bernardo’s energy may be preferred for the derby.
Up front, Guardiola is likely to return to his preferred mixture of control and goal threat with Riyad Mahrez and Jack Grealish on either side of Erling Haaland.
Ederson, Lewis, Akanji, Laporte, Aké, Rodri, De Bruyne, Bernardo, Mahrez, Haaland, Grealish
Manchester United come into the game on the back of four straight wins in the Premier League. They currently sit in 4th place with 35 points, only four behind City. With Erik Ten Hag’s men hosting City this weekend and travelling to Arsenal next weekend, they know that victories could bring them into the title race.
United rotated their side during their 3-0 win over Charlton in the Carabao Cup quarter-final but are expected to pick their strongest team available for the derby.
The United manager confirmed that midfielder Donny Van De Beek is out for the rest of the season. Diogo Dalot is also out for Saturday, and Antony Martial is a doubt after only training on Friday morning. Impending new sign Wout Weghorst will not be available in time for Saturday’s game, and Jadon Sancho also remains unavailable.
Head to Head
The reverse fixture at the Etihad on 2nd September saw nine goals, including hat-tricks from Erling Haaland and Phil Foden, as the Blues ran out 6-3 winners. City were 4-0 up at halftime with braces for Haaland and Foden before Antony’s stunning effort from outside the box reduced the deficit. City replied within 10 minutes when Haaland tucked in Sergio Gomez’s cross to complete his hat-trick, with Foden also scoring his third shortly afterwards. United scored two late consolation goals but were simply not a match for the City performance, inspired by the goal scorers.
City have won their last three games against United and haven’t lost at Old Trafford since March 2020, when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side won 2-0.
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Assistants: Gary Beswick & Darren Cann
Fourth Official: Robert Jones
VAR: Michael Oliver
Assistant VAR: Nick Hopton
Written by: @JTomkys
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